The time has come for the NMRA to open its season this weekend at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, FL. What you may not know is that the NMRA series is one of the longest running series in all of drag racing, and the most underrated, hidden gem in all the drag racing world.
Now I know, I am well aware that this is an all Ford series. I am well aware that NMCA is for all cars. For disclosure purposes, I raced in the NMRA from 2002-2008 as well. The fact is that the series has been around for over 15 years and continues to go strong throughout the industry. It really is the center of the universe when it comes to Ford drag racing.
No longer is NHRA the place to see Fords ripping down the track, because let's face it, there aren't that many there with the exception of the Cobra Jets. That is another reason that Ford fans need to make sure to pay attention to the NMRA. The issue is that no one ever talks about the NMRA, and I personally think they are missing the boat on that.
In the early to mid 2000's the NMRA was always accused of having the buddy club, and maybe that was true for a time. The fact is that the NMRA has come a long way since the beginning. Steve Wolcott has continued to put people in the right places within the organization to make it better. Take for example Rollie Miller, who is the go to over there, is someone that may not always like what is written or discussed, but certainly has no fear in addressing issues and absorbing suggestions in making the product better. No longer do I see a buddy club over there, what I see is an open line of communication and a willingness to actually listen.
Have you been to an NMRA event? You want to talk about amazing racing for damn near everyone, that's what NMRA has to offer. We aren't even talking about the specialty stuff they have here and there, I mean the core class of cars. I mean everything from Street Outlaw, which includes plenty of X275 legal cars, all the way to Open Comp, Truck and Lightning, etc. NMRA includes 1/8th mile and 1/4 mile racing at the same event too. Power adders, they got'em. N/A small blocks, them got'em. Stock crate engine racing...they've got that too.
For years we have talked about personalities in drag racing. Well look no further than the NMRA, because you are going to find them all. You have superstars, you have ranting and taunting between competitors, some serious smack talking, all within a family friendly environment. An environment that you can take your kids, and even your Mom and Grandma to. Go walk the pits and meet guys like Carlos Sobrino and his Joker car. Carlos is one of the fastest and quickest crate sealed Coyote powered cars in the world. Then there is the RockStar John Leslie Jr. in Factory Stock, who you can't help but laugh when in the presence of. How about Mr. Open Comp himself Larry Geddes. And don't forget about the beautiful ladies of the NMRA that could out drive most anyone else in drag racing. We are talking about Haley James and Val Clements.
Before you think it's all roses and that I am just stroking the NMRA ego, there are also things that I personally don't like. I don't like the cost of admission, I don't like the lack of open media, but those are personal issues that I have already addressed. That doesn't mean it will change, but based on the amazing things they have done in the last decade, it wouldn't surprise me if you start to see more and more NMRA plastered all over the internet.
Get off your couch and make sure to get to one of these NMRA races this year. Watch E3xtreme for NMRA updates, and if you can't make the race, check out SpeedVideo for the livefeed of every single race. There is no reason for you to not know about this hidden gem that is NMRA. We at E3xtreme have made the commitment to cover at least the Atlanta and Joliet races this year as well. We are going to start giving the organization and their members the coverage they deserve.